Mobile Native Services

One of the most exciting areas of Internet applications these days are applications that are "mobile native". That doesn't just mean mobile first. It means mobile native – the app could not exist if the mobile smartphone didn't exist.

A great example of this is the "book a cab ride on your phone" category. The leader in this category is Uber which does a great job and really nailed the experience. I've also used SideCar in San Francisco and Hailo in London. All three are great experiences.

These services work so well because the cab driver and the passenger both have mobile phones that are geolocated. The application matches up driver and passenger in real time and handles payment as well. That's a killer experience.

When thinking about new mobile app categories, we like to think about these mobile native services. They are very powerful.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Robert Thuston

    “Path” is mobile native. It guides the behavior… i.e. no, this isn’t for sending updates from your computer, it’s for sending updates from being in the world, etc.

  2. kidmercury

    if anyone has seen any good data on profits of mobile native apps that they can share here, that would great.

    1. Elia Freedman

      I wouldn’t recommend to anyone to try and make money from their apps, unless those apps are games. Mobile apps are a window into a paid service (ad supportd service, etc.) that utilizes the cloud or Internet or something physical.

      1. Max Yoder

        From my perspective, the Go-mium business model is one of the futures of free. It works like this: you give away your desktop app free of charge, and offer your mobile app for a fee.Here’s an example: let’s say I create a video-editing application. I let folks who are on desktops and laptops access it for free—they can import, capture, and edit to their hearts’ content. But, if they want to import, capture, and edit from their mobile devices, too, they have to pay. I might charge them a few dollars for my native app, or I might create a mobile app that can be accessed with a subscription. The particulars aren’t what’s important—what’s important is that this revenue opportunity is now possible.I wrote more broadly about this here:

        1. Elia Freedman

          I’m skeptical. Any examples of anyone who has made good money on this model?Why would you give away a desktop product that demands real app revenues ($20-100) for an app that can generate $2 in a world where you don’t own the customer relationship? Seems like the opposite approach might work better but even then. I see it as small dollars, hobbyist revenues.

          1. Max Yoder

            I certainly understand the skepticism, and it’s more of a belief than a theory—being that I can’t pin it against data. I just wanted to throw it out there and see how informed folks react.It may be a small dollars game—maybe not. Either way, I’m a fan of small dollars—they make the world go ’round and put food on the table for a lot of people.Also, video-editing software was a bad example. I’ll fix that.

        2. kidmercury

          go-mium, lol, i love that. i’m a believer in go-mium, at least for the time being (will probably change my view in a few years), though i never referred to it as that before. i will from now on.

          1. Max Yoder

            🙂 there’s a gent named Cody who runs an app called Tubalr. It works like this: you type a band’s name into a search box, and Tubalr will compile a playlist with all of that band’s YouTube videos. It’s smart because people use YouTube as an inelegant music player all the time. Tubalr makes this easier and more enjoyable to do.I think it’s a prime candidate for go-mium. It’s not something that people will pay for on their desktop, but it is something that solves a big enough pain on mobile devices that people might fork over $2 to use the app. I know I would, especially since I’ve been able to test the integrity of the Tubalr experience via my laptop before I purchase.

    2. Luke Chamberlin

      I’ve seen some before and the gist is that games out perform all other apps by an order of magnitude.Nearly 50% of total app store revenue comes from free-to-download games with in-app purchases. http://www.develop-online.n

  3. markslater

    i’m struck by how successful some of these point solutions have been.Whoever builds the app that captures the functionality of all these point solutions is the hands down winner.

  4. LIAD

    Interesting to me how they cater to underserved customers who are prepared to pay a premium yet utilise classic new market disruptive tactics of accessibility, simplicity and convenience to do so

  5. Max Yoder

    I’ve always wondered how Google+ would have fared had it been built as a mobile native service. There are plenty of wise arguments for going the route they did, but nailing a mobile social network—a medium where Facebook struggles—could have been interesting. I’m assuming that’s what they were trying to do with the failed Path acquisition.



      1. fredwilson

        dropping wisdom today FG

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK

          IT WHAT ME DO!

      2. jason wright

        But how to do it?Zuckerberg took an analog to a digital expansion from within a sub culture of elitist social interconnections.Where’s the cell culture (dish) from which to grow a mobile social network?

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. Luke Chamberlin

            Do one of those things really well and then change it by 10% to inject personality.

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK

            DO ALL 3 WELL AND WIN.

          3. Luke Chamberlin

            I’m skeptical you could do all three well in the same app.Please don’t eat me.

          4. FAKE GRIMLOCK


  6. John@PGISelfDirected

    I am very excited to see how “mobile native” apps will evolve i the next few months with technology becoming an arms race these days.

  7. Ciaran

    I struggle to get that excited about Uber and the like. Minicab firm Addison lee allows web or phone ordering, uses a post-code (pretty easy to get hold of), and sends details of when the cab will arrive, with licence plate number etc,,.,.Now, admittedly they’re terrible at PR (… but I do think that there may not be quite as much of a need for services like Uber as tech-heads in San Fran and the like might think.

    1. Andy

      These are great points if you live in New York. However in other cities, it’s been my experience that the cab infrastructure for the most part is TERRIBLE.If you’re not near an airport getting a cab takes far longer than 15 seconds, and generally requires several calls to the dispatcher.Then on top of that the notion that someone would want to pay with a credit card is met with total bewilderment and fascination with how these pieces of plastic work.I’ve been “kicked out” of a cab at my destination for trying to use a card and told that it just wasn’t worth the trouble. Although, most of the time it takes 5 minutes+ for them to get their huge slide piece out and make a perfect copy of my card with #’s and expiration date very clearly visible on a piece of paper that will probably end up in the dispatcher’s trash can along with a hundred other people’s credit card numbers.

      1. Ciaran

        My understanding is that the issue with cards for most cabbies is the cost of using them, i.e. they get charged for taking the payment. Not something that happens with cash.

        1. Aaron Klein

          And, as proven in NYC, their total revenue increases far beyond the 2-3% they’ll give up in fees. It’s a no brainer.

          1. Ciaran

            That doesn’t surprise me. But what might be a no-brainer for someone who has seen that data will be something else entirely for someone who hasn’t, particularly, if I take Dublin (where I live) as an example, someone trying to make a living in an overly deregulated market that’s in the depths of a massive recession!

          2. Aaron Klein

            Yep. Hopefully a persuasion campaign that a company like Square could undertake.

          3. awaldstein

            Average cab tip has jumped to 20% with cc. Never used to tip that much.And BTW,,,in NYC cab and private car rates to/from the airport are the same.

          4. Aaron Klein

            Didn’t think about the tips. Very true! And yes, NYC is the only place I’ve ever used a car service because of that! Looked to me like Uber would still be more pricey.

      2. Aaron Klein

        You’re absolutely right. The NYC cab experience is nearly one of a kind. And it took the city forcing drivers to take credit cards for drivers to wake up and smell the profits.Airports aren’t even a reliable place to quickly get a cab any more. Landed in Las Vegas yesterday and the cab line stretched up and down a block six times. It was like waiting to get on Space Mountain at Disneyland!

        1. LE

          From a drivers perspective accepting credit cards creates a paper trail that requires payment of more taxes even if there are logs showing the miles driven etc. and what the fare should be. Easier to skim.

          1. Aaron Klein

            Doesn’t the meter already do that or do they still use paper logbooks?

          2. LE

            Credit card money gets deposited into the bank. Many reasons for hiding money in addition to the IRS. Could be a partner, boss, wife etc. Low hanging fruit to check for fraud is bank account and deposits actually made.(While I am typing this I get a call back from a painter I’m getting a price from. He just quoted me a price and said “for cash”. He wants me to buy the paint as well.)Other issue is it’s much easier to create phony computer logs and receipts then it is to get involved in falsifying bank statements. It’s also a mentality that people have. If a contractor does work for you he wants “cash”. That doesn’t mean a check made out to cash and it doesn’t mean a check made out to his name which he can cash. Even though the chance of someone getting hold of that check (they’d have to get it from you) is slim. He perceives it as a risk. Somehow he feels he is safer with “cash”. As an aside, not everyone asking for cash is cheating. Sometimes they will make you think that if you pay in cash they will give you a really good deal – you think you are getting a bargain (like selling a stereo back in the day out of the back of a truck type of thing or when a infomercial tells you “limit 3 per customer” (as if..)). It creates a differential and contrast.

          3. Luke Chamberlin

            Edit: oops double post

          4. Luke Chamberlin

            Yep. Same reason all those restaurants in Chinatown don’t take credit cards.

        2. matthughes

          FYI, the premium for a private car at the LV airport is relatively small – especially when waiting in the LV heat.

          1. Aaron Klein

            You’re 24 hours too late with that advice. 😉 Next time!Aaron KleinCEO at Riskalyze • Sierra College Trustee”Riskalyze has made investing personal and easy.” –PandoDaily on (

  8. Rohan

    Path is my favorite mobile native service.That said, I do find myself wishing often that it had an easy back up on the cloud. It’d be so good to find all the photos I share on Path some place online!

    1. JamesHRH

      Path is not as effective when part of your circle of people are not heavy smart phone users….i.e., grandparents.

    2. leigh

      I feel the same way w/instagram – so i created a Pinterest board and for everyone i link to on twitter, i go back afterwards and put it on a board.

  9. Roger Ellman

    As Greece seems to receive nothing but….well you know…bad news reports, a good app for taxis is in use there available at or the app store or android market.It is perhaps a good economic indicator (my Taxi availability economic indicator), that at the moment the need to use it is a little less frequent as there are platoons of taxis waiting for a customer at every street corner taxi rank.

    1. fredwilson

      i wonder if there is one of these in every local market

      1. Roger Ellman

        Seems close to being so!

    2. jason wright

      Only because bond traders want to continue milking it ad infinitum. I know why they are called the PIGS, but COWS would have been far more appropriate.

  10. Kirsten Lambertsen

    @strayboots is already making $12 per customer with a simple SMS application – a game. Robert Thuston hits it on the head: it’s about enhancing being out in the world (vs sitting at your computer).

    1. fredwilson

      using the internet to get off the internet!

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Yes! That’s the end goal for all of us, ha!

  11. William Mougayar

    And when you add connectivity/integration with the “internet of things” around you, there’s probably another direction this can be headed into.I’d like to see more of these types of native mobile apps, and the revelation is when they let us do things that were not even possible before.

  12. JLM

    In great measure, this is the convergence of the smartphone with a tablet – laptop form.As this convergence continues, you will not even be able to recall from whence any app originated.The smartphone will become a bit larger, the tablet a bit smaller and everything will meet in the middle.The apps will become more comprehensive.There are a lot of things which are “cool” but not really game changers in the long run.I used to be able to whistle at an ear splitting level to summon cabs and not having used it in years can no longer do that. I am looking to rekindle that capability..

    1. Cam MacRae

      It’s become pretty clear over the last week that someone has it in for you, old boy – however, to be negged within the minute is something of an achievement even for one of your eminence.

      1. JLM

        Hmmm, I may have to go un-pawn my GAS meter if only I could remember where I pawned it.The last week has been the best in recent memory — Perfect Daughter graduates #1 from college at UGA graphic arts, incredible family reunion around “exit show”, favorite nephew gets married in traditional Southern wedding in NC, wonderful extended family reunion at wedding (perfect weather), eat lots of great Southern food (fried chicken, pimento cheese, deviled eggs, pigs in the blanket, collards).So I guess I deserve some leavening energy. Life can’t continue this good forever. Blessings to all including my well deserved critics..

        1. Cam MacRae

          Sounds like a stellar week.

        2. ShanaC

          Mazel tov…sounds like a great week.

          1. JLM

            @cammacrae:disqus @ShanaC:disqusThe kind of week that you are tempted to just find a funeral home, climb into a casket and shut the top.It just doesn’t get better than this.To see twenty + years of children and cousins all getting ready to conquer the world, it is really amazing.Is this a great world or what?.

          2. ShanaC

            I feel like this comment needs a great jazz album to go with it in celebration….”what a wonderful world”

          3. Cam MacRae

            Indeed it is, however I hope the Sage of the South postpones his long sleep so he might mentor those twenty + years worth of prospective world beaters.

          4. Dave Pinsen

            Like the old Milwaukee’s Best commercial.

        3. Guest

          You have critics? ::)Do tell….

    2. fredwilson

      i still do that JLM. it works like a charm. and it impresses too.

      1. JLM

        Now I am REALLY convinced we were separated at birth.Two hands or one hand?.

        1. fredwilson

          none. i curl my upper lip and bare my lower teeth and blow hard as hell.

        2. William Mougayar

          I’m a 1 hander there. thumb & middle over curled tongue.

      2. William Mougayar

        I’m a witness to that. I saw Fred whistle a cab the other day, and it stopped him on his tracks.

      3. Guest

        @fredwilson:disqus @JLM:disqusI guess whistling for cabs is something short people have to do to draw attention to themselves….Wonder if there is some correlation between the level of ones whistle and ones height.

    3. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Do you know any women who can do this? I have never ever witnessed a woman whistle like that. Any woman who can deserves public recognition.

      1. JLM

        Yes, but I could not tell you the story on this blog.Thanks for reminding me of this because I am smiling thinking about it..

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          😯 Sounds like a post for Tumblr 😉

    4. Luke Chamberlin

      I used to agree but now I think there will always be a place for a device that fits into your pocket, and a pocket-sized device will always be just too small to read text comfortably, thus necessitating a slightly bigger, tablet-sized device category. Just my thoughts at the moment.

  13. Sebastian Wain

    We can add the “ubiquitous mobile application” subcategory. For example I like the idea of a GPS alarm. If I move out of my office an alarm rings remembering to carry some thing to my house, or when I am near the grocery it remembers of some purchases to do. Many applications already exist doing this.These ubiquitous applications have a basic configuration but remain in background without any interaction.

    1. JLM

      I think that GPS is one of the untapped potential gold mines because it does not depend on the availability of Internet service.I suspect that for that reason, it is not attracting much attention from the start up crowd.Having used GPS as an aviator and a hunter and a car driver — I have become completely addicted to its use on an iPad.I spent the whole week out of town and went from place to place in some fairly complicated terrain effortlessly..

      1. ShanaC

        can you do gps without a mobile app that requires other sorts of connectivity to display it? How much data beyond location transfers with gps?

        1. Cam MacRae

          Yes. For example, I have a complete set of airspace maps on my iPhone which causes the thing to go bing whenever I’m in proximity to a boundary.Edit: Should have made it explicit – no connection required.

          1. ShanaC


        2. JLM

          The beauty of GPS is its independence of all other things. It is derived from satellite info not the Internet.The ability to add apps is where I think the opportunity really lies.The data already on an iPad, as an example, does not really require a currently running app to be useful..

      2. PhilipSugar

        GPS truly is a game changer for transportation. Air, Car, Boat. I too am completely addicted. You know when I was getting my instrument rating they would put sticky notes over my Garmin’s because “they made it too easy”

        1. JLM

          I cannot tell you the number of times that GPS has saved my butt.It was a dark and stormy night……………….

      3. fredwilson

        GPS is killer. foursquare could not exist without it.

  14. PhilipSugar

    To me the interesting question is the economics: How does the revenue split work?Does it become like email where the price I pay is essentially zero, all revenue goes to those in the physical world.Or does it become like Priceline, where I get people in the physical world to fight with each other and I am worth more than all of them combined.As it becomes easier and easier to build apps part of me says the former, but if you consolidate enough consumers part of me says the latter.

    1. fredwilson

      i think its somewhere in between, maybe closer to email. but there will be a take rate for a network/marketplace. they are more than email.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I think your point about the network/marketplace is right.If you are producing a mobile app for productivity or for passing/wasting time then it will be like email.If you are producing an app that facilitates commerce i.e. brings buyers to sellers there will be a take rate because sellers are always willing to pay a cut to get buyers.

    2. Luke Chamberlin

      I think revenue models stay the same, and vary based on the nature of the product:1) Sell ads to companies, display to users2) Build a marketplace with lots of transactions, take a % of transactions3) Free for most users, 5-10% pay more for extras4) Subscription where everyone pays monthly



    1. ShanaC

      reverse – humans shouldn’t adapt to machines, machines should adapt to us



        1. ShanaC

          Thanks, I just think it is unrealistic for us to catch up to a computer. They are our tools, no we, them.

    2. Elia Freedman

      Agreed. Standard evolutionary cycle (no offense to my favorite dinosaur): start with what we know and move it over, then rethink the experience. Web worked the same way as first sites were physical newspapers and retail stores squashed into an online experience. Web 2.0 really started wave of true web innovation.Mobile is the same. We started with desktop experiences squashed onto mobile. Four years later now starting to see innovation: Instagram, Path, Paper, etc.



        1. panterosa,

          dream like Big Brother to connect to all things so phone reads mind. but not in nasty way, just pure awesomeness.

        2. fredwilson


        3. Michael Elling

          Mobile 2.0 need bandwidth, otherwise applicators die.

    3. Luke Chamberlin

      I guessed you missed it. It was called “Color” and it really blew everyone away then waved goodbye and returned to its home planet. Someday it will return to pick up the true believers.



        1. Luke Chamberlin

          You are being generous.

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK

            ME NOT SAY IT ONLY FLAW.

  16. ShanaC

    Actually, I think the consumiate native mobile app isn’t uber – it is evernote.The reason: It can be as ubiqutous as you need, with whatever is on you (desktop, laptop, phone, whatever) – so that when the moment strikes, you can stick something in.And that is the real value of mobile – when the moment strikes, your baby computer is there to help you….

    1. Aaron Klein

      As much as I’m a huge fan of Evernote, by this definition, it isn’t native mobile.Evernote could work strictly on my Mac…and in fact, 80% of my usage is on Mac, though my mobile usage is growing.

      1. Shyam Subramanyan

        Evernote is not native mobile as per Fred’s definition, but because it’s with me all the time on my mobile, I tend to actually use it these days both on desktop and mobile

        1. ShanaC

          Right. I’ve give up on the idea of mobile as mobile, and instead am moving towards the “one computer, many interfaces, many ways to use it” thought process. I’m befuddled by the “mobile style interface” as important – truthfully though there will be some great apps that way, the most powerful ones wil be the ones that can transcend interfaces and always be useful…

    2. fredwilson

      its a utility, not a network

      1. ShanaC

        even so, I think ubiquity is what marks mobile, mostly because I don’t see them as phone as much as mini-computers with different interfaces. You just need programs that can go between interfaces with network effects, and then you have something awesome

  17. Chris McLellan

    A good debate and a disclaimer: I am the Community Manager at Hailo.The different apps and driver networks do share many things in common, of course, but there are also substantial variations which will create interesting choices for customers. The differences range from efficiency/speed (is the taxi network truly mobile and thus offering speedy, geo-location matching rather than a variation of a rank/dispatch system); through to size of the driver network (more taxis generally means better geographic footprint, especially outside the city core); pricing and charges (some services are knowingly ‘premium’ or add big minimum fares and/or surcharges) and of course features (some apps offer more choice e.g. hybrid vehicles, ride sharing, wheelchair access, multi-bookings, Spanish speaking drivers, etc).So there’s a lot of variation right now between seemingly similar apps. It’s an exciting time to be in the sector and when looked at closely, there is much more going on than simply replacing street hails. This is a real turning point in personal transport, and there’s much more to come.

  18. John Best

    This is timely and relevant –…Some highlights (for me):”Imagine that your service is in your customer’s pocket at all times. Imagine what you could do with that honor.””Mobile engagement means helping people take the next most likely action in their moments of need.””Mobile is a service to inject your business value into your customers’ hands”

    1. leigh

      lots of good quotes in there tnx.

  19. andyswan

    We just launched a cool feature where you can scan any barcode and it returns the ticker-symbol of the company that makes the product, along with chart and buy/sell buttons. Pretty sweet….but just scratching the surface for sure.

    1. LE

      I like that. I would assume you could also return symbols of companies in the same industry especially if no match (private company making product).

      1. andyswan

        Not yet but I like it.

    2. awaldstein

      I like this.So…creating a map of the physical world, like a mirror image, where we can look at the things we consume around us through a real time, not just buy the product but invest in the company point of view.

      1. andyswan

        I personally think it’s important to understand not only what you’re buying but who you’re buying it from. I *think* I have some pretty cool ideas on how to expand this kind of functionality in a big way…if you have any pls email me 🙂

        1. jason wright

          The anatomy of manufacturing. Dissect it. Made of what, which came from where, and at what cost.

          1. andyswan

            Yes…the “pin action”. Nice

    3. matthughes

      Please post a link.

    4. fredwilson

      do you buy via one broker or a list of brokers? my grandmother always bought stock in companies that made the product she bought

      1. jason wright

        Runs in the family then.

        1. fredwilson

          true. i learned a lot from her. Dorothy Wilson. I called her Grannie.

          1. jason wright

            I call mine ‘Nan’. She’s 91 this summer. Thinks money is the root of all evil.She was diagnosed with lung cancer last friday, but the doctors are talking about “therapy”, so where there’s life there’s hope.

          2. fredwilson

            oof. that’s a tough blow. i hope she can pull through.

      2. andyswan

        It’s now a feature (“snapstock”) for TD Ameritrade’s mobile trading app…. so the app is far from mobile native but that feature is definitely mobile-native.Just wanted to expand on the point of your post…even if the app isn’t mobile native, it can certainly have fairly revolutionary features that are.

      3. Dave Pinsen

        That’s what Peter Lynch used to preach.

    5. Dave Pinsen

      Cool idea.

  20. Max Yoder

    Pardon me while I derail a bit, but congrats to our very own @wmoug:disqus on this Engagio update:

    1. William Mougayar

      You are watching…Thanks Max 🙂 Yes, big day on TC, GIGAOm, BI, RWW for engagio, and getting lots of funny tweets from @FakeGrimlock:disqus too.



        1. fredwilson

          i hope they all come back to disqus

        2. leigh

          In particular i’ve never understood by Giga Om doesn’t have a better service. Completely limits the engagement on the site.

        3. Russell

          Was hoping I’d find a post from the Grimster today. Check out this tshirt on threadless – It might blow your cover but it is still awesome!

        4. William Mougayar

          It’s unfortunate that we can’t totally unify the conversations spaces. It’s still fragmented. Engagio is fighting this with APIs integration, but it’s a two-way street. If no API, no integration.

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


      2. matthughes

        That’s pretty awesome William – I just added the extension to my inbox.Very cool.

    2. fredwilson

      working the PR game like a pro!

      1. William Mougayar

        Ha! Top down with the press & bottoms up with users via virality.

      2. William Mougayar

        I’m a media whore I admit 🙂

  21. tdevane

    I also would buttress off of native apps with those services that have enhanced experience and perhaps usage through a dynamic mobile app – Seamless and HBOGO immediately come to mind.

    1. fredwilson

      i just set up jessica and emily with HBOGo accounts. wesleyan will never be the same 🙂

      1. tdevane

        ha nick is using it up there also, I find very little quality lost from flatscreen to comp to tablet/phone for HBO, I watch on all of the above

  22. Ben Watkins

    Fred, I’ve come back to your blog over and over again, this past year especially. Every time I learn something new, something important.Your writing is easy to appreciate.Thanks for taking the time to share, truly.

    1. fredwilson

      thanks Ben. i feed off of comments like this. really appreciate them.

  23. Adam Feldman

    Sidecar is one of the best things to ever happen to San Francisco.

  24. Dan Abdinoor

    There is a really interesting group of food trucks here in Boston called Clover, that use iPhones to take and process the orders. The ordering process is almost like buying something at the Apple store (I like that). And the people making the food inside the truck all have iPhones mounted to the wall with the orders. I am not sure if this is proprietary or not, but it seems to be a really smart application of mobile software, like Uber.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s in the right direction

  25. Shyam Subramanyan

    Many of the geo-based apps such as Google Maps and Yelp are unfortunately still “browse and decide” (very browser oriented). It’s like if Uber said “here are all the cabs near you and their phone numbers”. Any service that gives me a search result of exactly ONE would be a good mobile native service I would use. Don’t show me all Chinese restaurants nearby, but just take me to the one that has a good vegetarian selection (and even order ahead).

  26. Sandy Kory

    Great post. We agree mobile native services represent a huge opportunity. There are consumer-facing verticals that have been relatively unaffected by the desktop Internet that will be transformed by mobile native services, such as grocery shopping and automotive. We posted our thoughts on the mobile native opportunity 1.5 years ago.

    1. fredwilson

      nice. thanks for the link.

  27. matthughes

    MLB has a mobile app: MLB At BatIt has stats, schedules, video highlights and even the radio call of the games. It’s rad.It’s so much faster, cleaner, more refined – all that – than their web site. Not sure that qualifies as a native mobile app but it has completely redefined my consumption behavior.

  28. Jeff Bodle

    I am confident that mobile native services will be a big key to solving the healthcare costs riddle.

  29. jason wright

    “mobile native” = mobile only?

  30. John Revay

    Remembered a few months ago you tweeted or blogged about using sidecar for a trip to SFO from a meeting you were at.How cool would it have been to be the driver of the car to get Fred Wilson hopping in your car to the airport. I would have started yacking about start-up ideas

  31. jason wright…”…….Fuentes made his living from his writing and academic appointments. He continued to produce novels at an astonishing rate, acknowledging that it was his obsession, and that he had to write every day: “It’s like bricklaying or making a table. You have to take it seriously, you have to practise your trade each and every day, or you forget it.”

  32. Chris Phenner

    ‘Native’ is a term getting lotsa play on AVC recently:1. ‘Native Apps’ refer to locally-executable code (in mobile, typically).2. ‘Native Monetization’ refers to site/app-specific monetization units.3. ‘Mobile Native’ refers to apps that leverage data native to (er) mobile.I suppose ‘native’ refers to the core choices companies make to own and in which they invest to do well. ‘Native’ represents the ownership choices firms make across features (code), revenue (monetization) and the data (‘mobile native’) they use to make experiences simpler, faster and more useful.To quote the Chiils: ‘Fight like a brave; don’t be afraid.’

  33. Michael Sinan

    We can add to the list of mobile native apps. It’s a car wash that comes to you (using an app with geolocation). It’s very Uber-esque in its experience.

  34. leo

    Fred, please make a mobile-compatible version of this website

    1. fredwilson

      this site was designed for the mobile browser

  35. Michael Elling

    There are 4 huge value arbitrages for native apps: financial, time, space and emotive. Quantifying the relative value of each and then capturing a portion of that is the path to revenues and profitability. In terms of “digitizing” the world around us, the potential is infinite. As Grimm says, Mobile 2.0 nascent. That said, I think we could also see an evolved (possibly radically different) playing field in 5 years; one where there is more “state” across mobile and fixed and devices. No one platform/device will rule. I really want 4 different “phones” for my 4 different external contexts for a lot of communicating and transacting; plus a media screen (tablet) mostly for consumption plus a processing platform for heavy duty creation and consumption (desktop, netbook, etc…) Then I’ve got a zillion other potential connected devices and those of my friends and workers. Metcalfe’s law kicks in; it doesn’t stop. That’s the opportunity. And that’s the challenge. How to scale an “app” that captures value for one or more of the above across this diverse landscape.

  36. Michael Elling

    As a follow-up to my above. I noticed numerous people questioned if Uber would scale beyond a few markets and niche demand segments. It can if different value arbritrages are attacked to scale the system. For instance, the “shared” and underutilized resource (car service) doesn’t just have to transport people. It can be used to transport items (like returning packages or dropping off clothing at the cleaners, etc…) on the return path. Just as cargo ships don’t go empty back to China.

  37. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Human beings are designed to be mobile – even the sedentary ones – why our work, devices and practices ever became so desktop-oriented is one of life’s great mysteries. Darwin would be baffled…

  38. HowieG

    My concern is the price of mobile services is becoming out of reach for half the US. My bill with Verizon for 900 mins and unlimited data and SMS is $120 that is stupid cost. So as they push us out of unlimited data if my monthly cost goes up I will have to ditch my smart phone. This will impact mobile native services yes?

  39. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Will you hail all my cabs for me from now on? 😉

  40. Dave Kim

    Having used both Uber and Addison Lee, the main difference has been the ease of ordering a car. Sure, I can call Addison Lee to book a car and tell them exactly where I need to be picked up, but Uber even makes that process simple and a joy to use with its map feature!Also, while I agree with Paul about getting a cab in NYC relatively easily, there are times when you just can’t find a car – or even a car that will take you out of Manhattan. I’m not sure if Uber is trying to be a direct competitor to the cabs or to the livery cars, but I’ve had an incredible experience with them so far.

  41. Ciaran

    Exactly. Or, if you do want to be all techy, you could use a service like Tweet a London Cab (does what it says on the tin as they say): – what’s cooler than a native web application?

  42. Ciaran

    Damn – I’ve just seen that those guys have ditched twitter, and gone for an app. Sigh #walledgardens

  43. ShanaC

    where are you picking up cabs in NY??? Not everywhere is like that…

  44. Aaron Klein

    I’ve never used Uber and wouldn’t pay the 2X rate.But I’ve spent 20 minutes trying to get a cab in NYC. A lot of times it’s nearly impossible. Doesn’t need to be that way.Uber needs to take their technology downmarket (or someone else will).

  45. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I just envy your 20-second response rate. Do you get that even on rainy days?

  46. JamesHRH

    Certainty is of value, especially if you are on a tight schedule.

  47. Tom Labus

    An app to eliminate cabs in NYC!!



  49. LE

    Agree. Ideas like this ignore the majority of the country that practically never uses a cab. And even with travel a few times per year I’m not sure this service becomes something you automatically think of using.Don’t get me wrong it’s a good (small) business idea but I don’t see it’s wide spread appeal. It’s almost the type of business that if done by a large corporation would be shut down after some time as not being worth the management effort. But a small company could earn a living off it for sure. Even if you look at the cab industry I wonder what figures are available that take into account legacy systems that work (like flagging a cab in NYC on a major avenue) or the cab line at an airport that isn’t going to be replaced by this.

  50. JamesHRH

    I don’t think they think about competitors….just customers.

  51. fredwilson

    i use Uber in NYC when no cabs are available. and that happens more often than you might think.

  52. JamesHRH

    Actually, the next time you see me on a panel will be the first and I will have lost a bet to be there.This comment is based on knowing a little about Garrett (who has roots in Calgary, thank you very much – although, to be clear, I don’t know him personally).He’s not a market analyst / competitive benchmarking guy. He’s a guy who populates the world with things he wants. The initial idea behind Uber was more ‘NetJets for limos’. When the numbers didn’t work, he boiled it down to what he wanted out of that idea – a limo @ a time & place of his choosing (….He has a very strong gift for bubbling up formulas that make these things happen – dude’s an inventor.Not everyone has GMC’s instincts – most folks need to do analysis and business cases of competitive offerings. Not him – what he wants, a lot of people want.They are still rolling out the service. I don’t think they are worried about competitors yet.

  53. LE

    Appeal is there. Question is multiply by potential market given an existing system that works for X% of cab riders right now. What percentage of cab riders would this disrupt and make things easier for?